ACM-ICPC at Amrita Goes Green


Oct 27, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri

Green ICPC

Nearly 300 undergraduate computer science and engineering students from colleges all over India and abroad will gather in Amritapuri this weekend to participate in the Asia Regional Competition of the world’s largest inter-collegiate programming contest, the ACM-ICPC.

This year too, in addition to taking part in the on-site contest, participants will receive the best hospitality and will be treated to a fun-filled extravaganza. But there will be a key difference. Contest organizers are leaving no stones unturned in their efforts to host the Regionals of this 34th Annual Contest as the Green ICPC.

Paala“Pollution and climate change are global issues concerning everyone today,” stated Dr. Vallath Nandakumar, the Regional Contest Director. “Inspired by our Chancellor Amma, at Amrita, we are observing the year 2009 as Green Year. Accordingly, we will use this opportunity to promote the responsible use of earth’s resources.”

There will be minimal use of plastic at the contest. No plastic bags and no plastic bottles. At meal times, participants will be served food on paalas or palm leaves.

Unlike disposable plates, paalas cause no garbage disposal problems. Being bio-degradable, they can be easily used in compost pits. Not to mention the fact that their use may help bring a unique exotic feel to the participants’ overall meal-time experience.

“Our decorations this year will use bamboo mats and palm leaves,” added Br. Anand Shenoy, the Associate Site Director. “We have replaced flex with cloth; the giveaways will include cotton T-shirts and hand-crafted pens. Not only are these products environmentally friendly, but they also help promote the livelihoods of village artisans. We took the trouble to locate such sources and procure from them.”

Cloth Conf BagBr. Anand and his team may have received some inspiration from Amrita’s International Workshop on Cybersecurity conducted earlier this year. All participants, many of them representing the best universities and organizations in the world, received smart conference bags made from cloth and jute, and appreciated those.

“I am glad that the ICPC is also taking concrete steps to go green,” stated Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, the Program Chair for the International Workshop on Cybersecurity.

In September 2009, the ACM-ICPC online contest conducted by Amrita had seen participation from nearly 300 teams. Participants had logged in from all over India and abroad. There were over 2000 submissions of code in C, C++ and Java that was automatically evaluated on the Amrita servers. Judges represented organizations such as Google and Microsoft.

The best teams from the online contest will now battle it out for the top honors — a chance to compete at the World Finals in China early next year. And this year they will also enjoy a green contest experience.

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